The Astros’ season officially kicked off Monday, and although fans celebrated the glorious win, they were not rejoicing over the increase in parking prices, which spiked up to $60 during the home opener.
But thanks to the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, customers can save that cash. The legendary Tex-Mex restaurant provides customers with complimentary spots in their parking lot and a continuous shuttle service to and from Minute Maid Park—a trip that is only about one mile away—before and after every game.
The shuttle service began around 2011 after the restaurant received numerous requests from customers, many of whom wear their signature Astros orange shirts to dinner on game day. Five years ago, Ninfa’s answered their calls. “We see a bunch of big groups with eight to ten people, and typically they have to get a couple different cars and pay for the stadium parking,” says Jonathan Horowitz, CEO of Legacy Restaurants, which manages Ninfa’s. “With the shuttle, they don’t have to worry about driving back and forth, or parking.”
And for those large groups, costs rack up quickly; parking lots located near the stadium can charge anywhere from $20 or more, and that does not include ticket prices that also increased from about 12 to 13 percent last July.
Ninfa's recently upgraded their shuttle, which now includes up to 18 seats. Horowitz warns, however, that it quickly fills up to capacity so fans should arrive at the restaurant at least one hour before the start of a game, which is when the service begins. “People can get there around 5:30, grab a bite to eat, and leave the restaurant at 6:30 just in time for the first pitch,” says Horowitz.
The free service also runs during the Dynamo and Rockets’ season, depositing fans at the BBVA Compass Stadium and Toyota Center respectively.